For his second album, pianist Marcelo Zarvos has written a volume of chamber jazz pieces that maximize the lyrical nature attained when interweaving soprano saxophone, cello, and piano melodies. His counterpoint contains elements from Zarvos’ native Brazil as well as from his parents’ Greek homeland. The universal language of music ties cultures together readily through shared basic elements as well as through percussion effects that remain common to countries all over the world. The pianist, who studied at Berklee and CalArts, favors a rhythmic syncopation in the left hand while paying particular attention to harmonic textures. The MA record label, whose roster also includes artists such as German trumpeter Markus Stockhausen and Yugoslav guitarist Miroslav Tadic, has a web site that contains more background information on Zarvos and saxophonist Peter Epstein.
Soothing and natural, the album’s percussive colors include berimbau, talking drum, marimba and other gentler effects. Romero Lubambo’s acoustic guitar shades two pieces with lyrical interludes as well as fingerstyle accompaniment. The sweet lyrical soprano saxophone and cello add a tinge of the classical to Zarvos’ session. It’s not swingin’ jazz, but the pianist’s project lays gently in your lap as you soak up his cross-cultural worldly affair.